The substantial and stocky Chinese Foo is a dog that is typical of the Northern dogs, very compact, active and energetic, in addition to having a personality of extreme dignity and independence. With the breed available in three sizes--toy, miniature, and standard--it is a family pet that can fit all sizes of homes, families with children, or a young couple.
With its broad head, a deep chest and a Spitz-like tail that is usually left natural and undocked, it appears very powerful and substantial to overcome all obstacles. But at times breeders will dock the tails to show the stockiness of the body, which tremendously emphasizes the look of the dog.
An extremely multi-talented ancient dog, the Chinese Foo has dark brown-almond shaped eyes, with an inquisitive and fearless expression to them. It tongue could be either pink-red or blue-black. Loose skin is occasionally around the throat, with firm and powerful legs.
Similar to the coat of the Chow Chow, the Foo's coat is also very thick and heavy without appearing to be extremely coarse. It is also double-coated, as are most Northern or Arctic-like dogs. Its weather resistant coat consists of oft-standing coats that are straight-haired outer areas, while the under coat is made of a very thick and heavy dense undercoat that has a woolly feel to it.
The exception is the hair on its head, which is very smooth and short, while the areas that have the longest body-hair are mainly the underside from the tail to the front chest. Double coats of this dog comes in two "flavors"--the short Plush hair or the longer Rough hair, in solid or combined colors of black, tan-and-black, brown-and-blue, blue, cream-and-sable, yellow-cream to brown shades, oranges, red shades, sable, wolf-gray, and all have limited white-markings.
The history of the Chinese Foo goes back to the earliest of China's antiquity, with a major role in mythology, religion, and folklore. Bred to guard the Chinese Buddhist temples during these early times, throughout their life they have played a major role in good luck and superstition.
Considered an all-purpose dog who was the mainstay of the ancient people of China, they were used as guard dogs for both their families and livestock, for hunting dogs to bring home food, and rumor has it they themselves were used for meat when things became very scarce. Today, this ancient breed has been recently discovered, but as of yet is not an acceptable breed for the UKC or AKC.
The temperament of the Chinese Foo is of great self-esteem and self-regard, with the impression of great lordliness. Considered to be of courage and high energy, they can be considered a pet or companion if properly trained with a firm owner or trainer. Otherwise, due to their great size and extreme strength, they can be unsuitable for home life due to being difficult-at-best.
Similar to the Shar-Pei or Chow Chow, it is suggested that the this breed should be for experienced dog owners, as compared to someone who has never had much experience with having a dog at home before.
The Chinese Foo has not been associated with any serious major health problems, other than the usual bone issues and joints as they grow and age.
The largest issue with this breed is tangling and knots in the thick hair, with brushes not being able to "whip the battle." Gentle combing works best, while checking for serious mats that are tangled closed to the skin. Simultaneously, cleaning the eyes and ears should be done, with the toe-nails clipped on a regular schedule or they can begin to turn inward making it painful to walk.
A dog with lots of hair usually has their ears cleaned on a routine basis, as they will have wax, oil or dirt in the inner canal. Using an ear cleaning solution or ear pads weekly should keep the infections from developing or when brushing or bathing.
Dogs such as the Chinese Foo and their stocky build require quite a bit of exercise, to keep the bones limbered up and working as they should be. When they do exercise, it will need to be a high-volume type as this breed usually has a fair amount of unlimited energy.
Depending on the type of owner of this breed, the activity and exercise can be playing in the backyard with the family Frisbee or chasing a ball, or a quiet walk for a mile or so. Jogging can be a good idea for an active owner or someone who enjoys running or working out a lot.
With this breed of dog, training is highly important or the animal will not be as enjoyable in the home life. A firm hand and adequate training is a necessity, in addition to socialization from an early age. Quick learners, extremely intelligent--this breed will not always mind and will not back down if confronted by someone or something that they feel is weaker--unless some sort of controlled gentle training begins when very young.
The negative thing about such high intelligence in this breed is they can pick up both bad and good on an equal basis. In order to make sure this does not happen, crate training is suggested when they are a young puppy. It should not be too large or too small, but comfortable to the point they can stand up and turn around.